"Irisarri embodies a new kind of composer: one who exists in an undifferentiated welter of pop, techno, and classical,” Pitchfork (USA).
Multi-instrumentalist, record producer, mastering engineer and curator living in New York.
Described by Drowned In Sound (UK) as “one of contemporary ambient music’s most celebrated practitioners,” Irisarri's music often has a mournful, elegiac quality where ostinato phrases tap into minimalist ideals while atmospheric layers of effects suggests a more cinematic approach. In all, his compositions are deeply emotive and epic, like a symphony recording that’s been rescued from attic entombment after half a century.
“Sensual, propulsive, and shrouded in mercurial darkness…Irisarri’s ability to make evocative music is both a gift and a learned skill.” POPMATTERS (USA)
Irisarri’s works are widely published internationally, made available through respected and influential labels like Ghostly (USA), Morr Music (DE), Room40 (AU), and Umor Rex (MX), among dozen others. His recorded output heavily utilize bowed guitars, piano, strings, synths, field recordings, voices, and electronic instruments, creating dense clouds of blurry, hypnotic sound.
Starting out in Seattle during the early 00's, Irisarri quickly became an integral part of the Seattle music community while organizing electronic music shows and experiential performances at concert halls, churches, and DIY art spaces. Throughout the mid-00's, he served as co-curator for Seattle's legendary Decibel Festival, focusing on the ambient, leftfield techno and experimental curatorial. As the new decade rolled in, Irisarri started in 2011 his own music festival, Substrata – the first event of its kind in North America. Held at a converted chapel in a quiet residential neighborhood, the critically-aclaimed intimate event was responsible for breaking in the Pacific Northwest new artists working in the modern classical field (Nils Frahm, Jacaszek, Christina Vantzou, to name a few), and bringing to American shores influential artists from abroad. Substrata ran for five sold-out editions in Seattle, plus an offshoot event at London's Cafe OTO (2014). The festival is currently on an extended hiatus.
After signing with Ghostly International in 2008 and releasing Glider (his debut album as The Sight Below), Irisarri started traveling frequently to perform live throughout the world. His concerts at museums, churches, synagogues, and other non-traditional performance spaces explore the physicality of sound. Combining an array of heavy metal bass amplifiers, multiple loudspeaker configurations, synthesizers, bowed guitars, notebook computers, video images, and lighting, Irisarri decontextualize the audience’s relationship to the venue, creating an immersive, otherworldly environment. Career highlights include concerts at prestigious festivals MITO SettembreMusica (IT), Sónar (ES), MUTEK (CA), TodaysArt (NL), OpenFrame (AU), and Unsound (PL).
“It is a beautiful storm that breaks with choirs of benevolent ghosts singing - before slowly setting the audience back on the ground, surprisingly better rested, more contemplative, and satisfied than before… leaving the silence he induced, in absolute applause.” KEXP (USA)
Aside from producing his own music, Irisarri is a prolific audio engineer, having worked with dozens of seminal artists either in a live setting or at his Black Knoll Studio in New York. Credits include: Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, Arovane, Benoît Pioulard, Biosphere, Chris Frantz (of Talking Heads), Grouper, Julianna Barwick, Loscil, Pantha Du Prince, School of Seven Bells, Simon Scott (of Slowdive), Steve Hauschildt, Telefon Tel Aviv, Terry Riley, The Naked And Famous, and Tiny Vipers, among hundreds of others.